Stranger Things (Books & Memory)Emily Jan (Montreal, QC). 
April 2017. Watercolor on paper, repurposed books.

Reawakened by recent shows like Netflix original Stranger Things, the 1980s are making a comeback. Children of the ‘80s themselves, three of the April 2017 residents would reminicse over Elsewhere evenings—pawing through the toys in the collection and responding to each item as if it had been their own.

Jan kept coming back to the many common material experiences she shared with the other residents, despite having grown up thousands of miles apart. From the rural Northeast, a mid-sized Albertan town, and a major Californian metropolis—the artists found themselves linked by commonalities across vast geographical origins.

Jan wanted to insert these memories back into the collection. Working with the dustier forgotten books in the library, she used watercolor to illustrate toys onto the time-warped pages. Jan paired her images with descriptions of her own associated experiences, hoping that future visitors might, too stumble upon and share these fragments of memory.


Illustrations on handmade paper by Dana Robinson: